WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (15-11, 11-5 CIAA) came up short in one of their biggest games of the season when the team took a 72-57 loss to the Fayetteville State Broncos (17-7, 12-4 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. In a game that determined first place in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division, the Rams could not quite get their offense going in the tough loss.
The Rams had their most struggles on the offensive end of the court as the tough Bronco defense proved to be too much for them. As a team, the Rams were held to shooting just 25.3% (17-of-67) from the floor in the game, including going four-for-20 (20%) from the three-point line. WSSU freshman guard Amaya Tucker led the way for the Rams with 15 points in the game while senior forward Brionna Pate recorded a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds in just 27 minutes of play. Freshman forward Kyree Hall added 10 points as well.
Though the game eventually went to the Broncos, the first half belonged to the Rams who overcame a slow start to take the lead at the game's midway point. Things didn't look so good early, however, as Fayetteville State opened the game with a 12-3 lead before the Rams' first field goal of the game, a three-pointer from Tucker with 4:32 left in the first quarter. The Rams ended the first quarter on a high note as they cut their deficit down to just one point, 15-15 at the end of the first quarter. It was late in the second quarter when the Rams really found their groove as a Hall three-pointer with 1:51 left in the second quarter gave the Rams their first lead of the game, 29-28. From there, the Rams remained in control as they took a 33-31 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, the Rams continued to give a great effort, but the tremendous defensive effort of the Broncos proved to be too much for the Rams to overcome. The Rams allowed the Broncos to score back-to-back unanswered baskets to allow their lead to slip away. From there, the team continued to strive to work their way back into the game, but they were never quite able to reclaim the lead. For the remainder of the quarter, the Rams continued to struggle as they ended the quarter trailing, 54-44. In the fourth quarter, the Rams made an effort to get back into the game and to claim the win. However, the Rams would get no closer than nine points in the fourth quarter and ended the game with the tough 75-57 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 15-11 overall and 11-5 in CIAA play. The team also falls to 8-2 in CIAA Southern Division play and into second place. The Rams will return to action, Wednesday evening when the team hosts the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls in another key CIAA Southern Division game. For more information on Rams women's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.